Expert Advice For Dealing With Mistakes At Work

Compiled By Dave Schafer Manufacturing is still a people business, and people make mistakes -- including you. The important thing is minimizing the damage those errors cost the company and your career, says Sharon Mann, organizational expert at Esselte Corp., a Melville, N.Y.-based manufacturer of office supplies. "How you deal with your blunder is a true test," Mann says. "Your actions and attitude during this dilemma will impact your higher-ups' opinions and reflect on you for a long time." Going easy on others is one of several tips Mann offers for dealing with your own on-the-job mistakes. In addition:

  • Take responsibility. Blaming someone else only worsens things, Mann says. "Stand up, take the blame, and demonstrate to your boss that you're capable of shouldering responsibility."
  • Don't make excuses. "At this point, forget about who is accountable and put your energy into fixing the problem."
  • Don't waste time. "Your goal is to remedy the situation, so don't get sucked into conversations that start out with 'How could you let this happen?'"
  • Be proactive and look for solutions. "This can work in your favor in the eyes of your boss, demonstrating that you can deal with adversity and solve the problem."
  • Evaluate your organizational skills. Mistakes often occur because of poor organizational skills, Mann says.
  • Take preventive measures. Sit down and record the factors that led to the error, Mann advises. Then, put those events in perspective and take steps to ensure the mistake is not repeated.
  • Move on. The situation gets worse if you dwell on the mistake, which can lead to bigger problems.
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